Christmas Eve can be the most exciting night for children because of the expectation of Santa coming to visit and the endless supply chocolates and sweets. 

Most parents are aware that children can’t fall asleep in the middle of all this excitement. 

British parenting expert Andrew Copestone at Play Like Mum has revealed their top tips on how to get your little one to nod off, from putting them to bed earlier rather than later to making sure they’ve burned any excess energy during the day. 

While Christmas is a time of indulgence and treats for kids, the expert warned to limit the amount of sugar your children consume during the day and to consider giving a high melatonin and tryptophan drink before bedtime.  

FEMAIL shares expert advice about how to put your child to sleep when they’re excited. 

Parenting experts at Play Like Mum have revealed their top tips on getting kids to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, from putting them to bed earlier rather than later to giving a high melatonin drink. Stock image

Play Like Mum’s parenting experts have shared their best tips for getting children to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. These include putting them in bed early and not letting them go to bed later, as well as giving them a high-melatonin beverage. Image from the Stock Photo 


Parents can find it tempting to allow their children to spend Christmas Day watching Christmas movies and playing with electronic devices. 

To get them to fall asleep, you need to burn off extra energy.  

And tiring out the kids doesn’t have to be a burden, with Andrew suggesting enlisting the little ones to help with food preparation or make Christmas cards to distribute to elderly neighbours as a gesture of festive goodwill. 

The parents could go to local houses and take in the lights. If they don’t like what you see, let them know that their children can make mince pies. Simply go for a walk in the woods with your family. 


It’s Christmas season, so indulge in sweets and chocolates. However, it is unrealistic to stop eating them all. 

Limit the sweet treats your child has on Christmas Eve. This will help you avoid sugar cravings at bedtime.  


Caffeinated and surgery drinks should also be avoided before bedtime. Instead, drink something that promotes sleep.  

A glass of warm milk, which contains amino acid tryptophan, a compound suggested to improve sleep and mood, could be the solution for kids struggling to sleep.  

Alternatively, a sugar-free cherry juice, which is said to increase the availability of tryptophan in the body ad contain sleep-inducing compound melatonin, could have a positive impact on sleep.


Family members who are visiting on Christmas Eve should be informed and any chocolates for children given to their parents for saving for Christmas Day must be shared with them. 

‘On the day of Christmas Eve, limit the intake of sugary treats throughout the day, keep up routines as much as possible and promote heavy activity so your kids are wiped out by the end of the day and eager to go to bed’, said Andrew Copestone, founder at Play Like Mum. 


While it may be tempting to put your kids to bed later to tire them out, it can actually be more beneficial to push their bedtime up by around half an hour, to allow them allow extra time to wind down.   

Have earlier dinners and baths and get them into bed an hour to 30 minutes earlier than their usual time to allow them adequate time to unwind and consider turning this into a game of who-can-fall-asleep-the-fastest. 

Andrew said that a good night of sleep on Christmas Eve can set up the family for a relaxing Christmas Day. 

“If you want to make your children take you seriously, set an example. Do as they ask. 

“Instead of being rigid when you set the rules, you might consider making it a game. Give your child choices along the way to feel more in control.

Experts advised putting your kids to bed earlier and reading them a bedtime story rather than letting them play on their devices. Stock image

Experts suggest putting the kids to bed at a reasonable hour and telling them stories before they get up. Stock photo


Don’t let your kids play on devices at night. Instead, spend time reading with your child or creating your own stories. 

Andrew said, “Spend quality-time with them before you go to bed. All devices should be put away.”

“During this time you can distract them by reading to them stories or inventing your own imagination stories with them. You might also be able to create stories and costumes together, as well as make gratitude lists for them. 

“For children who use electronic devices in their bedtime routine, it is possible to schedule a Christmas movie and have the end of the movie coincide with bedtime. 


If your child is refusing to go to bed due to excitement on Christmas Eve – consider the age old trick of pretending Santa won’t appear with their presents until everyone is fast asleep. 

Children will be more excited to sleep if their parents tell them they won’t receive presents until they fall asleep. 

Andrew also suggested being creative and incorporating this information into a bedtime story – this works well if you can begin a couple of days before Christmas Eve and keep it up every night so kids lose the urge to bargain about it.